Thursday, October 20, 2016

Action Comics #16

Let's start with Superman.

Catching a falling man isn't really a big deal for Superman, and probably only needs a successful "attack" roll to scoop the man up.

The early Superman doesn't seem to care all that much if anyone figures out his secret identity. Not only does he wear no mask and conceals no fingerprints, but the windows on his apartment have sheer curtains. You'd think he'd at least use shades for more privacy!

This is the first story to call Superman's port of call "Metropolis", beginning the trend of fictional cities in the superhero genre.

The police commissioner in this story is a corrupt politician, despite the fact that most police are statted as fighters.

$5,000 was apparently a good night's haul for a casino-club.

The gamblers in this story don't seem to have any special abilities worth statting differently than slick hoodlums, other than to give them a better chance of rigging games.

Superman turns down the chance to collect XP for keeping the money in exchange for the good deed award for giving it all away to poor people.

Racketeers seem to have even less special abilities than gamblers.

Superman wrecks gambling establishments, both with a hammer and his bare hands. Since he's not wrecking the buildings themselves, I'd probably treat this as a wrecking doors roll (and at Superman's current level, he probably doesn't even need to roll for that anymore).

Superman picked up a fixed deck of cards to fool the gamblers, and then keeps it as a trophy.

Pep Morgan's adventure has an unusual angle -- Hero playing bodyguard. Can an Editor pull off a session where the Hero has to spend a week living with another character, waiting to see if any harm comes to him or her (her, in this case)? Only if the Editor creates an engaging character, and the player really likes to roleplay.  Otherwise, the scenario will quickly fast forward to the first whiff of danger.

Slings and arrows (of outrageous fortune!) are being hurled at Marco Polo in his adventure, but the more effective weapon seems to be the dropped rocks falling on the bandits in the ambush at the end. If the rocks are heavy enough that they have to be pushed over instead of thrown, it could be considered a trap and do more than normal missile weapon damage. Maybe 1-8 points?

Clip Carson deals with a fake mummy in an Egyptian tomb, one made to seem like it's alive thanks to a tape recorder -- make it more of a trick than a trap. And then he deals with bandits...or are they desert nomads? The comic books (as well as the DC Wiki author) seem to use the terms interchangeably.

Speaking of odd terminology, the Chuck Dawson summary I'm reading says Chuck is framed by thugs, which is an odd mobster type choice for a Western adventure. Maybe these are outlaws?

Tex Thompson's adventure has an interesting spin to it as well. Tex is asked by the French government to infiltrate a spy ring, to find out who their mole is in the French government. In eight more months, things would be getting a lot more exciting in France if Tex stuck around that long.

Zatara has his first encounter with aliens from another planet (he's already fought aliens from another dimension). Here, the aliens are from Saturn, but as far as I can tell they're just like humans and not particularly interesting aliens. They can transport people at faster than light speed via cosmic rays, but they've never invented irrigation. Zatara saves them with irrigation lessons any kid in a 4H club could have taught them, and the grateful Saturnians are never seen again.

(Superman adventure read in Superman: Action Comics Archive v. 1; the rest read in summary either at DC Wikia or Mike's Amazing World.)


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